The World Free Zones Organization held its Annual International Exhibition and Conference on April 30th and May 1st in Dubai, UAE. Over the course of the event, world-class speakers and senior policy makers, academics, multi-lateral organizations and global business leaders from over 80 countries unite with delegations from international free zones to share best practice and promote public awareness of the role and impact that free zones have in economic growth.

Mr. Aleksandar Mladenovski, CEO of the Macedonian Free Zones Authority, gave a presentation at the meeting detailing the investment incentives in the country, and what Macedonia can and should provide to foreign investors in order to expand their business here. The presentation also included information regarding new tools used to establish a favorable investment climate in the country and an effective method for attracting investments.

Twenty-two delegates from ten European countries were present at the event. The agenda included a discussion of the strategic direction that should be taken in 2018, including a plan of action. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by all members of the newly established association, assuring joint and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The main emphasis of the Memorandum is to lobby the interests of European free zones and industrial parks in terms of increasing safety and security of trade and the global supply chain, as well as bringing sustainable development to the industrial areas.

Acknowledging the fundamental role that free zones and economic zones play in growth, development, investment, job creation, and the prosperity of nations, the association will undertake a leading role in strengthening the cooperation between all stakeholders, i.e. Government, Customs, and the Private Sector. The importance of increasing security, safety, compliance, and the sharing of information in order to protect global value chains and international trade through the creation of the Association of European Free Zones and Industrial Parks was a primary goal that was stressed during the duration of this year’s event.